Childhood’s end

If the last couple of decades in markets and underlying economies and culture were marked by the digital transformations of basic industries and products, the next phase seems to be forming as one of reorientation.

Now that the potential of advances in artificial intelligence and robotics has been internalized, now that the supercomputer in billions of pockets is a norm and the global connectivity this represents no longer a wonder, the coming period will be one of studious readaptation.

We haven’t yet begun to figure out the impact or the longer-dated consequences of what essentially amounts to a global reinvention, which is in many ways more sweeping even than the most monumental economic revolutions of the past.

With agriculture, tools, industrial and transport introductions of the prior eras, the change was always still within the realm of the physical (the atoms) and bounded by the physical realities of geographic regions. With computing, on the other hand, we’re in the realm of bits, which are diffuse, of infinite supply, and increasingly unbounded in adoption.

Some interesting reading from the past week’s flow of seasonal discussion hints at what’s to come: Past and future anti-trust by Benedict Evans, the global tech race between major powers by Dan Wang, an economic rereading recommendation by Albert Wenger…

The reimagining is something that’s unprecedented, but the science fiction masters and their classic works have never felt so current.